#HSMAI 2015 ROC Panel @Austin
I had the honor of organizing and moderating one of the most interesting breakout sessions at the #HSMAI Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC) in Austin (June 2015) – “Changing distribution landscape – Is there light at the end of the tunnel?” It was well attended by over half of the conference attendees, ran about 15 minutes over the scheduled time and surprisingly no one left the room. I attribute this to two reasons: (1) Rising distribution costs is an area of concern for most hoteliers today (2) The Allstar panel made sure they kept the audience engaged until the end.
The panel included Dan Wacksman, EVP Distribution, Outrigger Hotels; David Chestler, EVP, SiteMinder; Lew Harasymiw, Director of Connectivity, TripAdvisor and Louis Zameryka, Regional Director, Booking.com. Typically breakouts at ROC are covered by one of HSMAI’s news partners, but unfortunately due to some last minute technicalities this did not happen. Even though I am not a journalist, I will attempt to recreate some of the interesting points that the panelists brought up.
To give some perspective, metasearch is estimated to grow at a CAGR of ~ 40% from 2014-2017 and the current trends show no signs of slowing down. TripAdvisor, Kayak and now Skyscanner have added direct booking functionalities to their arsenal, ensuring that the consumers don’t have to leave the metasearch sites to fulfill bookings. This is primarily driven by a desire to create a frictionless user experience.
As recently as last week, there has been some news around Google experimenting with booking fulfillment features in certain test markets.
Some of the interesting themes that came up during the discussions were as follows: